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      Speaking on Peace, a Heartfelt Moment

                                  Thanking the Artist who Created this picture Name is unknown for now.

                       copyright © 2013 Turtle Women Rising Must have permission to use or re- print by Eli PaintedCrow  




From Co-founder Eli PaintedCrow, On Our Journey to 2013 Native Women's Drum Summit

August 21, 2013 at 12:15pm

We are making the first journey in over a year to Alturas California for a Native

American Women’s Drum Summit. Questions of whether we could raise the money for

the trip, the power of trust in the Creator never fails us. We have to remember that

thing if we are to move forward in the knowing that this is what our job is to be.


This is a beautiful journey heading towards a beautiful hidden land with the best

drinking water ever. Arriving to the sound of drums as we reach our location, we are late

but we are here.


Eli tells the story

Eli tells the story

Next few days prove to be joyful, healing and the opportunity to develop a sisterhood  of drummers sharing why

they sing, why they drum. We Turtle Women Rising drum for peace, drum for love, drum for justice, and invite our

sisters to share in the vision that requires the heartbeat of all to raise the energy of awakening the soul,

strengthening the voice of women who want to save our mother for future generations. Healing the hearts of

those whose wound does not allow movement forward that serves all. Looking for the next step to take that we

can gather to build momentum for the growth of women’s voices that speak of peace that stand for the truth that

needs no defending and stands only in the power of what is.


I have the honor of bringing the next generation with me my niece who hears the drum and sheds the tears

without knowing why only that her heart has been touched. A silent promise to my Creator that I will share all that

I know with her as long as she chooses this way to leave her with the medicine to be strong in her heart, her voice

and her actions. May they carry on all that these women have gifted her this day.



Mankillers with BAAITS/TWR drummers

Mankillers with BAAITS/TWR drummers We sit in the presence of three of the


Mankiller Drummers. The way shower women who opened the doors for all of us to

                                                                                                                                                                                                        move from the drummers of our dreams to be the songs of today.
Thank You for the courage to stand and change a way that better serves the people. We learn the women’s Eagle 

song. I hope I can remember this day, this song in my heart because my mind eludes me from the truth of what is and
that is the Love of women conquers all and the songs heals. It is all I need to remember. Thank TWR for taking
me on this journey. You are all amazing women and I am proud to call you sisters.



Eli PaintedCrow

US Army Retired, SFC


All our relations!

All our relations!

2010 Gathering WA DC

Turtle Women Rising held a gathering in Washington,

DC in 2008, in a Stand For Peace. We are honored to

share these images from 2008, and this song "New

Way" with the invitation to join us in DC Oct 8-11,2010

New Way was a gift from a baby turtle, that was

received by our sister Mz. Imani white. We hope you will

learn this song and sing with us. Whether in DC, or at

your home place, please sing and drum with us in


Many Blessings to you, as we each do our part to help

bring a new way to walk on the earth.

Mz. Imani has recently released a new CD, for more info

please contact her at

To view TWR original website please go to

 We Thank Don Alfredo Younnis and Myra Jackson for believing in this vision and supporting our first gathering.

We offer gratitude to the International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers who showed up in many ways

and trusting this vision of peace. For all of you who came and created a beautiful gathering with song, laughter,

tears and prayers for humanity. We acknowledge those who supported us at there home places all over the nation

and drummed with us in solidarity. We say thank you for opening your heart space to this vision. We offer our

gratitude for the opportunity to pray this way and share in building community.   Peace


A Message from Yoko Ono:  Saturday February 5 2010

Dear Eli, thank you for so many beautiful photos. Yes. Please thank Bill, the photographer, too. I totally understand

your interpretation of a warrior. To me, a warrior is a person who has courage to stand up and make the world a

better place. I love you! Yoko

MS Painted Crow,

I am proud to say that my husband and I had the chance to participate in the drumming for peace on 10/9/10. We

were in DC for our 23rd Anniversary, and happened upon the ceremony. Being that I am part American Indian, and

that we have participated in Pow Wow's over the years with our daughters and friends,we could not resist joining in.

I am honored that I got to hug, and thank you and all the other wonderful people who have made it safe here in the


I was especially proud to hug and thank my "Sister Nurses" who were there. I believe that it was part of my spiritual


path that weekend that led my and my husband to all of you. Thank you Ms. Painted Crow, and all of the Turtle


Women who pray for us all.
God bless,
Piper & Bob Ellis



 2008 Gathering in WA DC

 It is in the Remembering

Remembering 2008 and wondering what was going to happen. Making the journey to Washington DC in our newly purchased

used van with 200 thousand miles and wondering if we would even make it. Joining the travel was our Elder, another Iraq veteran,

three chairs and a canopy. Kiya our grandmother drum waiting patiently to be brought out as we traveled across the country,

making few stops along the way. Meeting Shelia Hanson in Virginia and being offered lodging by man who didn’t even know us.

Being blessed along the way with the people we encountered on this journey. Being supported by Don Alfredo Younis and his

assistant Myra Jackson,who stood firmly with us in the necessity of this coming together. Blessing the grounds and being surprised

by the amount of help that showed up. Wondering how this even was happening and being grateful for the opportunity to serve in

this way. Creator opening doors one after another with countless blessings of those who showed up and those who contributed to

this Stand For Peace. Meeting Mz. Imani for the first time and listening to her sweet voice as she played the Hang bringing tears of

joy to my eyes. Knowing she was to be a part of all of this manifestation of Peace. Stepping into Synchronicity with her in my

thoughts, in my heart, in our actions together as we held the ceremony in our in our songs throughout the four days of drumming.

Debbie’s social butterfly attitude that brought invitations to others  with her open heart to be part of the heartbeat on the drum,

helping others release their fears about being on Kiya and leaving with a feeling of more completeness in their hearts and a smile

on their face.  Bless you sister. Tia (my auntie) who stood strong throughout the ceremony holding the prayer and watching out for

our health as we stayed on the site for the entire time we held that the ceremony took place. Our guardians who brought us coffee

and took care of all with gentleness and with gratitude in their eyes to be of service in this way. I too am grateful for you. The

countless people that touched my heart and held me up in spirit and laughter and honoring me with the stories of their lives.

Colonel Ann Wright my heroine who said she was staying for a little while and stayed for the entire gathering. Spirit moves people

like that and it’s wonderful to be part of it. The tears of my sister Mary struggling with her PTSD still, sending her Love and Peace for

her and her family. The sound of the sun dance drum with Zamora leading the way, making space for us to follow. Hearing those

powerful songs making my spirit jump from my body to go and see who was making such a beautiful prayer.  The Grandmothers by

the fire, holding ceremony for all of us in need of healing. Our veterans being recognized for their service both in the military and in

the  ceremony. These are my thoughts of 2008, full of gratitude for the new hearts that touched mine and the strengthening of my

steps towards Peace with a little help from my friends. I am blessed to be on this road and to walk it with all of you. Thank you for

allowing me into your lives and sharing who you are with me. Creator has given me richness in life that no money can buy. The

heartbeat of life your life and my life  touching the past, present and future on the heartbeat for humanity. I am grateful to be of

service and I am sorry for any offending words or actions that my humanness brings forth.  Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you.

Peace.  Eli PaintedCrow


Turtle Women Rising: Drum the Heart, Heal the Earth   

A Photo-journal Article


I was most privileged and honored to take part in helping  to

                                                                                                       manifest Eli Painted Crow’s vision for the  Turtle Women Rising


Drum the Heart, Heal the  Earth celebration, which occurred on the

                                                                                                              National  Mall in  Washington, DC from October 10



through October 13, 2008. As coordinator of the Guardians who provided security for the event and created a space of 



safety for the festivities, I was also most privileged to assist Eli, her sister, Debbie and many members of the local Native American



 Indian community as well as local members of Veterans For Peace, in setting up and creating the

                                                       remonial circle within which was placed an alter and the  sacred fire for the four-day ceremonies of drumming,        








and healing Early in the morning of October 9, 2008, I met Eli and Debbie at the site south of  Constitution Avenue, 

NW between 14th and 15th Streets,  NW for a prayer ceremony to bless the site in preparation for the celebrations. World-

renowned  healer  and Mayan priest, Alfredo Sfeir Younis, from  Portugal with his associate Myra Jackson joined us  to

conduct the  initial blessing ceremony. After the  moving prayer

  ceremony, I left the site to go set up  my campsite in

 Greenbelt National Park in the Maryland suburbs. Upon  my return in the early afternoon, the sacred circle anchored by a

twenty-foot tall teepee was beginning to take shape. When  I walked onto the site I could see people  standing in rapt

attention, staring up at the top of the twenty-foot tall teepee. Eli met me, tears streaming down her face -- she pointed to a 

splendid Red-tailed Lady Hawk perched on one of  the teepee poles, excitedly relating to me how this bounteous omen

indicated how blessed the event  was by Spirit. She told me that for the  past twenty minutes of so, the Lady Hawk had

been surveying the site and dancing to the prayers and singing offered to her by Eli, her sister Debbie and others. I

quickly returned to my vehicle parked nearby and got my camera  so I could take the following two pictures:  The Lady Hawk

stayed for at least 30 minutes as in rapture we watched and celebrated her beauty. I wrote this poem about her

"manifestation” several  days later:






                            Red-tailed Hawk

        The twenty-foot tall teepee had just been raised

        An anchor for the sacred circle under construction

        On the National Mall of Washington, DC

        For the four day Turtle Women Rising

        Drum the Heart Heal the Earth prayer festivity

        Out of a white-cloud-swirled brilliant blue sky

        Manifested a Red-tailed Hawk landing on of the 

        poles In the middle of this heavily congested 

        metropolitan  city  Jet airliners loudly taking off from 

        National Airport   Traffic revving and honking along  

         Constitution Avenue  The air periodically pierced 

         with screaming police  sirens For over a half an hour 

         she perched overhead. Surveying her land, dancing 

         to the songs we offered  her   Blessing us with her 

         presence, gracing us with   the  surety.

         That our efforts were well enshrouded within Spirit

         With a flick of fine-chiseled head  Unfolding long

         and broad feather-tipped wings Tucking tufted claws

          beneath her She elegantly swooped off the teepee

          and glided way. To her destiny on silent winds of

          bounteous elegance. Tears of gratitude flowed deep

          As in wonder I followed her resolute flight. The rest

         of   the day  setting up canopies, gathering firewood, 

           setting  up the Eastern Gate, stringing the prayer ties

           creating the sacred circle within which the ceremony

             would be held and putting up prayer sticks  to

           demarcate   the sacred fire circle. On Thursday 

          evening, Eli, Alfredo  and myself conducted a panel 

          at American University  entitled “Perspectives on 

          Warriorship,Veterans, and the  role of Indigenous 

          Wisdom within the Framework for Peace."          

          At dawn of Friday, October 10th, Kathleen the fire 

           keeper, prepared firewood for the sacred fire. 

           Alfredo led us in a most moving fire starting 

          ceremony invoking Spirits from the four directions

           as part of the initial ritual opening of

          the event and the continuous drumming began

Shash Yazhi / Lil Bear remembers grandmother praying, and always for Wash-een-toon. She asks her why, what is this she prays

for? Grandmother remembers too.Washingtoon is that place where the white men gather to talk and to make decisions,about our

rations, about us. And our cub friend grows to know the full meaning of that place, slowly. Now nudging up against our

grandmother  again in the back seat, still laughing with joy in the face of that knowing ....

We take this time to gather with each other, so we can hold
ourselves first, then hold the form. And we come in strong with the first

beat. We wake more than one, and in many ways, we are told. we are heard, the songs recognized, but it's the way we enter that is

most clear. We are here with  you, always, in this work.

Bless this road that we are walking

Bless this road that we are walking

Bless this road that we are walking

        Bless this road that we are walking           


Eli Painted Crow, la veterana who has called for this gathering o drums in D.C., shares her story. The women soldiers raped in Iraq,

covered up, nothing is done. A retired woman colonel speaks out about the 4 deaths in one year's time of women spouses at Fort

Bragg, North Carolina, where a special type of soldier is created for the nastiest work of all. And it's swept under the rug. No one

speaks of it. A veteran speaks of how he changed from an anti war activist to an activist for peace. I remember with Eli, the part I

know: my family, my father, two buses in our enlisted army housing area- poor white folks from Kentucky, Georgia, on one bus. My

bus, Mexicanos, Puerto Riquenos, African Americanos, Native people, from all over. There were no brown faces in the officer's

housing area. Ever. I was raised there. My Mother, brothers, sister and I also have the scars  of that soldiering, inside and out. I

believe my father tambien is still wounded by the soldier/man he became, and never completely shook off....


Grandmother drum beats clear and strong, so much so, we go
places. Elders dance around the fire, or at our drum. A sister warrior,

Mary, returning from Iraq, dons her shawl and dances as she re-enters among The People again. She dances slow. Asked over my

shoulder, "Do you have a song  "that buffalo song." Her young daughter the next day taps me on the same shoulder and whisper in

my ear, will you play the Wanka Tanka song? Later, I close my eyes ."Ate Wanka Tanka Heya Heya Hey!" and she's right there, joined

by younger sister, across from me at the drum, echoing that call. It's a different call, for a different nation, for a different soldier.

These are women warriors.


Debby Guerrero Gunseek sings the sweetest things you've ever
heard, and another time, the power and strength knocks you off

your feet, or rather, raises them, que no? One after another, dancing. It's our turn now as she returns the favor and wakes us up this

time, though it's midday, night fall, no matter. Her voice is the sound and the color of dawn. She blesses the water. And many times

over, she blesses the children. For me, that's what I think deer medicine might be. Gentle. Water. Dawn. Bringing the children to

drink, again.


On our final day, we arrive as they are closing early with the 13
 Grandmothers. The big grandmother drum stops, but really doesn't

want to. As I walk about beginning our goodbyes, I hear her start up again. I smile. We are not too late. I make my way over finding

my sisters searching the grounds. I step up to the drum. We are just in time. Others have scattered, beginning theiown goodbyes,

beginning the work of packing up. But some come back to help abuelita sing for the abuelitas as they return to their journeying. Our

voices a little worn, we sing the same songs as lullabies, soft. Easy. Letting go. One of the grandmothers joins us. I hand her a stick,

she stares at it, silently, not happy. She points to Debby's. She wants the wooden stick. It's gladly hers. And she smiles with the first

strike of the drum and nods her head. Another grandma comes. Our sweet sister notes we are 13  for the second closing of the

drum as the 13 depart por este camino rojo.


Time to go, said all my goodbyes, til next time. I spot our young
 little Loni at grandmother drum. I say sadly, "We gotta go." Her stick

in perfect time, she simply nods her chin up at me. We got this.

                                                                                     Bless this road that we are walking

                                                                                      Bless this road that we are walking

                                                                                      Bless this road that we are walking

                                                                                      Bless this road that we are walking..


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